For Frank Cerrone, a career in automotive repair originated from both a paternal connection and an innate predisposition. To put it simply, you might say he was born into it. “My father was a mechanic, and I decided at a young age that I wanted to be a mechanic as well. It just fit me. I was the kind of kid who was always taking things apart to see how they worked. One time at a family get-together, I was underneath a table taking it apart and it came crashing down in the middle of a card game. That’s a true story!
“When I was 10 years old, I would take the bus to my dad’s shop after school and work with him for a couple of hours until closing,” Frank continues. “During my senior year of high school, I took automotive courses at De Anza College, so by the time I graduated, I was ready to be a full-time mechanic at the shop. A few years later, my dad made me a partner in the business. When he passed away in 1994, my brother and I took over the business. A few years later, I bought out my brother and became the sole owner.”
Today, as owner of Cerrone’s European, Frank is proud to be ushering the business into its third generation of family ownership. “My son, Tyler, works here at the shop. He took pretty much the same route as I did, taking classes at De Anza College and working here after school. And just like my dad did with me, I’ve made him a partner in the business.”
A resident of Morgan Hill, when Frank isn’t working, he likes to spend as much time as possible immersed in outdoor activities. “I’m an avid motorcycle rider, both on- and off-road,” he details. “I love boating and water skiing as well. Hunting, four-wheeling…basically, if it’s outdoors, I’m into it.”
In regard to a professional philosophy, Frank points to the values his father instilled in him as a young man. “My dad was a great example of honesty and integrity in business, and I’ve continued to run the business the same way he did,” he explains. “We’re honest and transparent with our customers, and we only sell them things they actually need. When we find a problem with a vehicle, we don’t just tell the owner what we found—we actually show them photos so they can see it for themselves. That’s just one example of how we maintain transparency and build trust with our customers.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Frank says he’d do some traveling. “There are definitely a few places I’d like to visit. Europe is high on the list, and there are still some parts of the U.S. I’ve never been to. I’d just like to see the world and live life to the fullest.”
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant? A: Trail Dust BBQ in Morgan Hill.
Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl? A: I’m a night owl.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday? A: The Fourth of July.
Q: If you could pick up a new skill in an instant, what would you choose? A: Woodworking.
Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? A: I’d go to the past—specifically the Wild West days in the 1800s.